Why is it a problem?

By using gender labels in stores, customers feel they are restricted to one specific section and pressured to conform to how the retailer is marketing genders. Many shoppers feel that crossing over to a different gender’s section is taboo, which can instill feelings of guilt, shame, and loneliness. Clothing is a powerful expression of identity. We see it every day in the forms of pop culture, media and generational trends.

If a child identifies as non-binary, why must they conform to the identity that society has ascribed them? We think all should be free to live authentically, and we believe that dismantling the norms built into retail experiences is an important task on the road map to equality.

legal precedents

U.S. Code Title 42, Chapter 21 - Civil Rights

This code "prohibits discrimination against persons based on gender, age, disability, race, national origin, and religion (among other things) in a number of settings including: education, employment, access to businesses and buildings, federal services, and more.

After multiple attempts, lawmakers in California finally passed a law requiring large retailers to offer gender neutral toy aisles. Starting in 2024, prosecutors could seek civil fines of up to $250 for first offenses and up to $500 for second offenses. Why should it not be the same for clothing?

Gendered clothing is a deep-rooted tradition in our society. Even before a child is born, they are assigned a color–blue or pink–depending on their perceived gender. Non-binary people deserve a safe space to embrace their identities through fashion. Fashion retailers have a long history of ignoring the existence of non-binary customers. Brands must catch up with this movement so that they can address the needs of all shoppers, not just those who conform to the gender binary.